No one doubts that Mark Turgeon is inheriting a not-great situation at Maryland, at least in the first season, but I have to say I didn't expect him to say as much. In a Baltimore Sun piece, though, that's just what he did (h/t to Charlotte NC Terp - it's worth being front-paged):
"I've taken over programs where the personnel was not where it needed to be, but never at this level," the former Texas A&M, Wichita State and Jacksonville State coach said in an interview in his half-decorated Comcast Center office. ... As for the short term, Turgeon said: "I'm not going to judge us on wins and losses next year. I'm going to judge us on what kinds of habits we create in practice, what kind of chemistry we build, how we're playing as a team, how recruiting goes."
Tell us how you really feel, Mark. I mean, he's right - this is a rebuilding year, and the team isn't where it's supposed to be, but I kind of expected a bit more fight out of him. It's not good or bad, but it's surprising.
He also flat-out said that Berend Weijs, the rail-thin 6-10 big man who is desperately trying to put on weight, isn't making much progress:
"It's not working," Turgeon quipped Tuesday. "He needs about 20,000 [calories], I think. Poor kid, he'll probably gain weight when he's 30. But he's in there lifting, trying hard."
When Turge was hired at Maryland, one of the things we heard about him - even from his own lips - was that he was brutally honest with the media. It's pretty easy to say that, even after only one story, he was right about that.
There are some good and interesting things in the piece worth highlighting, too; it wasn't all doom-and-gloom. For instance, he admits that they're going to go with four-guard sets "a lot of the time." That's fine by me - it worked for Villanova in the early 2000s, albeit with some more talent, and it can work here. Maryland's best players will be in the backcourt for sure, and if they can get solid play from Terrell Stoglin, Pe'Shon Howard, Sean Mosley and one of Nick Faust, Haukur Palsson, and Mychal Parker, they'll have a very interesting set of options offensively. Defensively there'll be some problems, especially if Parker or Faust, not Palsson, ends up on the floor more, but that's a given at this point.
He also says that Sean Mosley will be handling the ball more, playing more as a playmaker, which is more along the lines of what he did in high school and AAU. That's both good and bad for me. On the one hand, Mosley's confidence appears shaken when it comes to the offense, so anything to change up his role and see what else he can bring is fine by me. It's inarguable that he's stagnated - or regressed, perhaps - and needs to get out of that rut.
But the ball more in Mosley's hands means it's less in Stoglin's hands, and he seems like the type of player who has to have the ball to be effective. Stoglin is easily Maryland's top scorer, and to now at least he hasn't shown much of an off-ball game, like both Howard and Mosley have. Give it a shot, of course, because there's not much to lose, but I have my reservations.
For what it's worth, Mosley does have an ankle injury, as was previously questioned. He'll be out for a month.